Dick LeBeau “Coach Dad” | Craig Wolfley Web Site and Podcast

In February of 2006 the Pittsburgh Steelers go to Detroit for the biggest game of their lives, and the defensive unit step off the plane wearing a jersey with #44 on it.

In August of 2007 the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame game and the defensive unit again is wearing the #44 on jerseys as they arrive.

In the fall of 2008 those same defensive players came out of the locker room early before a game to stand at attention on the sidelines and watch as this man was honored for 50 years of service in the NFL as a player and coach.

Today the Pittsburgh Steelers travel back to Canton, but not to play a game. Not to lobby for the induction of a man that has profoundly impacted their lives, the fortunes of the Steelers, and the way defensive football is played in the NFL.

They arrive to honor a man that is addressed as “Coach Dad.”

A man that recites the 550 words of the Night Before Christmas by memory alone to his squad each winter.

A man that each of his players say “When he talks to you, he makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the world.”

A man that apologized to his players because he would miss his first practice in his 52 year career because he was at the Hall of Fame.

A man that carries no play script to practice because he’s attained a level of defensive mastery that with eyes only, he can call a defense, see the play unfold and know the rights, wrongs, and corrections without hitting the instant replay button.

A man that calls his enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as “10,000 dreams come true.”

A man that wore the number 44 through 14 years, 3 Pro Bowls, 171 straight starts and 62 interceptions.

A man that stands alone as a shining testament to personal strength, character, endurance and integrity.

A man called Dick LeBeau. Have a great day Coach Dad.

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